Vinoba Bhave’s doctrine that ’49’ cannot be ignored by ’51’ is relevant today

Prof. Bhim Singh, Chief Patron of NPP while addressing a conclave of lawyers late last evening in New Delhi on the 32nd death anniversary of Shri Vinoba Bhave, veteran Gandhian, made a very important revelation that Shri Vinoba Bhave who had expressed deep concern on the future of the parliamentary democracy of India when Prof. Bhim Singh met him in his Ashram in Maharashtra in 1979.  Prof. Bhim Singh disclosed that he with his journalist friends called on Shri Vinoba Bhave and sought his advice for the young generations involved in active politics.

“Shri Vinoba Bhave asked me a question, if ‘49’ could be completely ignored at the pleasure of ‘51’. He asked that by attaining a majority of ‘1’, the entire opposition as they call it cannot be sacrificed or kept aside when you are dealing with issues of development, nation building projects and India’s foreign relations. Can you give entire power to deal with the issues facing the countries to ‘51’ at the cost of ‘49’. He emphasized that a party which gets ‘51’ becomes absolute in parliamentary democracy whereas ‘49’ are rendered irrelevant and non-functional. He said that participation of ‘49’ in the process of nation building is essential for the growth of democracy in India. He forcefully argued that as long as the present system does not make ‘49’ as active participants in the functions of the state, there could be no smooth sailing.”

Prof. Bhim Singh in his tributes to Acharya Vinoba Bhave admitted that it took him years together to understand the depth of this jurisprudence and political philosophy of Acharya Vinoba Bhave. The present coalition system cannot dilute the doctrine of Shri Vinoba Bhave to strengthen the roots of parliamentary democracy in India. There is a need to reread and rewrite the Constitution so for as the parliamentary democracy is concerned.